Have you ever heard people saying “God laid this word on my heart for the year…”? It always baffled me, maybe because God wasn’t putting any word on my heart to live on throughout the year. Well, He never did because I never truly asked Him to. So I did this year, It took the first two weeks of 2017 for me to realize the word God was laying on my heart: Unashamed.
Although I know God has forgiven me and shown me mercy all because of Jesus, I still loomed in the actions of my past and felt so much guilt and shame from them. Living in this shame and guilt of these “old Alex” actions brought upon a few things:
- I still identified myself as the sinful, mean, lustful person I was- I couldn’t fully accept God’s grace because of this
- I couldn’t see how God could use me because of those things – I was limiting God’s power and wasn’t able to fully walk into the calling God has given me
- I allowed others to mistreat me because I believed I deserved it because of what I have done – I couldn’t see my worth through God’s eyes
I was ashamed I wasn’t a virgin, I was ashamed of how I acted during my partying days, I was ashamed of who I was. I knew I was forgiven, but I was still acting and treating myself as if I never had been. To be unashamed is to express or act openly and without guilt or embarrassment. I am no longer ashamed of these things because they aren’t me anymore, I don’t need to dwell in those places.
Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new things! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” Isaiah 43:18-19
Because of Jesus, God is creating a new thing in me. I am now aware that a new thing is blooming in me, my past actions have been redeemed and I no longer have to live ashamed. I have seen the beautiful ways God has used my past experiences to bring others closer to Him, so that they can live unashamed and see that God is creating a new thing in them too! God wants to do the same in you. Allow the total forgiveness and grace given to us by Jesus Christ to invade your heart, turn away from the sins of your past and realize that isn’t who you are anymore, you are so much more.
Living unashamed of your past isn’t just a one time thing, it’s an everyday thing. I can’t tell you how many times the devil has tried to walk me back towards my shameful living. This is where you have to stomp your foot down, tell him to get away, and decide to be unashamed! Jesus is greater, God is greater and He wants you to live in the present and to walk confidently in Him!